Inspection at Saudi consulate


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Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)


Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)


Cleaning personnel wait to enter Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)


Turkey says joint ‘inspection’ planned at Saudi Consulate

By FAY ABUELGASIM, SUZAN FRASER and JON GAMBRELL

Associated Press

Monday, October 15

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey and Saudi Arabia are expected to conduct a joint “inspection” on Monday of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, nearly two weeks after the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish authorities said.

The announcement from an official at Turkey’s Foreign Ministry comes as international concern continues to grow over the writer who vanished on a visit to the consulate on Oct. 2. American lawmakers have threatened tough punitive action against the Saudis, and Germany, France and Britain jointly called for a “credible investigation” into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The Foreign Ministry official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations. Officials in Saudi Arabia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom has called such allegations “baseless” but has not offered any evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

Such a search would be an extraordinary development, as embassies and consulates under the Vienna Convention are technically foreign soil and must be protected by host nations. Saudi Arabia may have agreed to the search in order to appease its Western allies and the international community.

However, it remained unclear what evidence, if any, would remain after nearly two weeks since Khashoggi’s disappearance. As if to drive the point home, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk walked in, past journalists waiting outside the consulate on Monday.

President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia could face “severe punishment” if it was proven it was involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Writing on Twitter on Monday, Trump said he had spoken with Saudi King Salman, “who denies any knowledge” of what happened to Khashoggi.

“He said he that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer,” Trump wrote. “I am immediately sending our Secretary of State (Mike Pompeo) to meet with King!”

On Sunday, Saudi Arabia warned that if it “receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom’s economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy.”

“The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations,” said the statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The statement did not elaborate. However, a column published in English a short time later by the general manager of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya satellite news network suggested Saudi Arabia could use its oil production as a weapon. Benchmark Brent crude is trading at around $80 a barrel, and Trump has criticized OPEC and Saudi Arabia over rising prices.

Saudi media followed on from that statement in television broadcasts and newspaper front pages Monday.

The Arabic-language daily Okaz wrote a headline on Monday in English warning: “Don’t Test Our Patience.” It showed a clenched fist made of a crowd of people in the country’s green color.

The Saudi Gazette trumpeted: “Enough Is Enough,” while the Arab News said: “Saudi Arabia ‘will not be bullied’.”

The Arab News’ headline was above a front-page editorial by Dubai-based real-estate tycoon Khalaf al-Habtoor, calling on Gulf Arab nations to boycott international firms now backing out of a planned economic summit in Riyadh later this month.

“Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the kingdom, we will be next in line,” al-Habtoor said.

Already, international business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom’s upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as “Davos in the Desert.” They include the CEO of Uber, a company in which Saudi Arabia has invested billions of dollars; billionaire Richard Branson; JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon; and Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

News that the CEO of Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, would pull out of the conference drew angry responses across the region. The foreign minister of the neighboring island kingdom of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, tweeted Sunday night that there should be a boycott of the ride-hailing app both there and in Saudi Arabia.

Late Sunday, Saudi King Salman spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Khashoggi. Turkey said Erdogan “stressed the forming of a joint working group to probe the case.” Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, said King Salman thanked Erdogan “for welcoming the kingdom’s proposal” for forming the working group.

The king also said Turkey and Saudi Arabia enjoy close relations and “that no one will get to undermine the strength of this relationship,” according to a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency. While Turkey and the kingdom differ on political issues, Saudi investments are a crucial lifeline for Ankara amid trouble with its national currency, the Turkish lira.

Prince Mohammed, King Salman’s son, has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. But Khashoggi’s disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh called the Future Investment Initiative.

The Saudi stock exchange, only months earlier viewed as a darling of frontier investors, plunged as much as 7 percent at one point Sunday before closing down over 4 percent. On Monday, Riyadh’s Tadawul exchange closed up 4 percent.

Concerns appeared to spread Monday to Japan’s SoftBank, which has invested tens of billions of dollars of Saudi government funds. SoftBank was down over 7 percent in trading on Tokyo’s stock exchange.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince.

Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey, and Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.

OPINION: Getting Away with Murder

By Mel Gurtov

In March I wrote about the visit to Washington of Saudi Arabia’s new leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. At the time most of the media were reporting uncritically about him and his regime. In fact, most were glowing in their praise of Salman as a “reformer” and “modernizer,” citing his allowing women to drive and his openness to pro-Western cultural change. I thought such views were near-sighted and failed to see not only that Salman was pulling the wool over people’s eyes about reform but also that Trump’s hearty welcome of him had to do with personal and political interests. Here is some of what I wrote back then:

Saudi Arabia is valued by the Trump administration for several reasons, none of them compelling: a “bulwark” against Iran’s Shiite regime, thus an unofficial partner to Israel in a nonexistent peace process; a major oil producer; a longtime customer for US weapons, in the billions of dollars (recall last year’s $110-billion arms package); the senior partner to the US in the bloody war in Yemen (an estimated 10,000 civilian casualties); and, perhaps most importantly these days, a good friend to private investors, starting with the Real Estate Agents in Chief, Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.

Now this Saudi leader has a chance to purchase another $1 billion in weapons, including Raytheon Corporation’s precision-guided munitions. He will thus gain US endorsement to more efficiently carry out war crimes in Yemen, a country in collapse and in the midst of cholera and malnutrition epidemics. All this largesse to maintain US “influence” and help make the Middle East more “stable.”

Someday, a US administration will break the pattern of weaponizing friendships with authoritarian regimes in the name of maintaining influence. Such relationships are tainted from the start and never support professed US interests in peace and human security. Look today at US policy toward Egypt, Honduras, Israel, and the Philippines, for example. The US is those governments’ partner in the repression of human rights, the deaths of innocent people at the hands of US-made weapons, and the undermining of prospects for civil society.

Authoritarian leaders friendly to the US are now fully confident that the Trump administration will look the other way as they trample the rule of law.

The Saudi crown prince is thus in good company.

Indeed he is: The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, an independent-minded Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, almost certainly at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad dispatched by (now King) Salman, shows what happens when US foreign policy is for sale. Not only that: While the US kept its part of the bargain, turning a blind eye to Salman’s repressive regime, the Saudis have had no sense of obligation.

“It does seem like the Saudis are less concerned about U.S. views than ever before, both because they assume Trump won’t care and because they think they don’t need U.S. approval,” said Gerald M. Feierstein, a former ambassador to Yemen and senior State Department official from 2013 to 2016. There are plenty of signs of Saudi indifference to US concerns: its continued bombing campaign in Yemen, its interference in Lebanese politics, its purchase of only a fraction of the $110 billion under the arms deal, its lack of support for the administration’s (supposed) peace process with Israel and the Palestinians, and its unwillingness to resolve the dispute with Qatar. These are US as much as Saudi policy failures, and they fall at the feet of Jared Kushner, who has been the king’s most enthusiastic backer in Washington.

But should Saudi Arabia be punished if it turns out that Salman authorized the murder of a critic? Not in this administration, which finds every excuse imaginable for avoiding sanctions against dear friends. As Trump said when asked about cutting off arms sales, “I think that would be hurting us,” he said. “We have jobs we have a lot of things happening in this country.” Ah, yes, jobs and “a lot of things.” Don’t believe him when he speaks about how painful it is to read about Khashoggi’s disappearance and how he will mete out “severe punishment” if the Saudi regime is at fault. Khashoggi wasn’t even a US citizen, Trump tweeted.

Besides, didn’t Salman just assure Trump he had no idea who might have taken the journalist away? That’s all Trump needed to hear. He now proposes that “rogue killers” might be responsible—a reprise of the script he used to let Putin off the hook (maybe it was the Chinese, or that 400-pound guy sitting in bed).

Rest assured, Trump will do the minimum, and so will Salman. Both will get away with murder.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University.

Global business leaders suspend ties with Saudi Arabia

By DANICA KIRKA

Associated Press

Friday, October 12

LONDON (AP) — Global business leaders are reassessing their ties with Saudi Arabia, stoking pressure on the Gulf kingdom to explain what happened to a dissident writer who disappeared after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.

British billionaire Richard Branson on Friday suspended business links with Saudi Arabia, and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said he might not attend a major investment conference in the country this month amid reports that Jamal Khashoggi may have been killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s capital.

“What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi government,” Branson said in a statement.

Branson, founder of Virgin Group, says he will suspend his role as director in two tourism projects in Saudi Arabia while an investigation takes place. He also is putting on hold discussions about a proposed Saudi investment in space companies Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit.

Saudi Arabia is facing increasing international pressure to clarify what happened to Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, with U.S. President Donald Trump and British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt among those demanding answers.

Khosrowshahi is scheduled to speak at the Future Investment Initiative conference, and event loosely nicknamed the “Davos of the Desert” that takes place Oct. 23-25 in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

“I’m very troubled by the reports to date about Jamal Khashoggi,” Khosrowshahi said. “We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh.”

The investment conference lists dozens of expected speakers, including JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Blackrock Chairman Larry Fink and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the latter confirming Friday that he will go.

“I am planning on going at this point,” he told broadcaster CNBC. “If more information comes out and changes, we could look at that.”

Joe Kaeser, the president and CEO of German industrial giant Siemens AG, also still plans to attend for now.

The Financial Times, which is listed as a media partner to the event, announced it would no longer be doing so.

“The Financial Times will not be partnering with the FII conference in Riyadh while the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains unexplained,” Finola McDonnell, the head of communications, said in a tweet.

CNN canceled its partnership, and said its anchors and reporters would no longer moderate panels. The New York Times and its business columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin similarly pulled out of the event. CNBC also said Friday it would not participate.

A list of confirmed speakers was later removed from the site of the event.

David Rising in Berlin and Jon Gambrell in Dubai contributed to this report.

Trump touts good relations with ‘sort of a Democrat’ Mattis

Monday, October 15

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he has a “very good relationship” with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis even though he thinks the Pentagon chief is “sort of a Democrat.”

Asked during a “60 Minutes” interview airing Sunday whether Mattis will step down, Trump says Mattis hasn’t told him that.

But Trump says: “It could be that he is. I think he’s sort of a Democrat, if you want to know the truth. But Gen. Mattis is a good guy. We get along very well. He may leave. I mean, at some point, everybody leaves.”

Last month, Mattis dismissed news reports that tensions with Trump could soon point to his exit. One area of tension has reportedly been on the importance of NATO, the alliance of Western nations that was formed after World War II to help keep the peace.

Trump disputed reports that Mattis had said to him, “The reason for NATO and the reason for all these alliances is to prevent World War III.”

Trump told “60 Minutes”: “I think I know more about it than he does. And I know more about it from the standpoint of fairness, that I can tell you.”

Trump has said before that he wants NATO countries to contribute more financially to support the alliance.

“We shouldn’t be paying almost the entire cost of NATO to protect Europe. And then on top of that, they take advantage of us on trade.”

Opinion: In Renaming Senate Building, Is Any Candidate Perfect?

By Christopher Arps

InsideSources.com

John McCain, the late Arizona senator and former presidential nominee, was referred to as a “maverick” by his colleagues and the media for his fierce independence.

McCain, who began his service to our nation as a Navy pilot and then became a prisoner of war in Vietnam, received many accolades and honors over the years. But the latest proposed honor is stirring a bit of controversy. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has proposed renaming the Richard Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in honor of McCain.

Simple enough, right? Until I started working for former senator Jim Talent, R-Missouri, after his 2002 election, I had no idea there were office buildings in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol named after notable senators and congressmen. I just assumed members and their staff all had offices in the Capitol building itself.

Ironically, the Talent office was in the Russell Building.

That led me to get an education about who Richard Brevard Russell Jr. was.

Representing Georgia as both its governor and a senator, Russell, a Democrat, served in the Senate from 1933 until his death in 1971. Despite being a New Deal progressive and ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he later became the unofficial chairman of the Senate’s bipartisan and informal “conservative coalition” that brought together northern Republicans and southern Democrats.

While anti-union, this coalition was also known for its opposition to civil rights legislation. Illinois senator Everett Dirksen, a Republican and another member of that coalition, later broke with them and helped form another coalition to secure the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Dirksen, by the way, has the building next to the Russell Building named after him.

Russell, with ardent segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond, created the 1956 “Southern Manifesto” that laid out opposition to racial integration of public places. It was drafted to counter the landmark Brown v. Board of Education school desegregation decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court two years earlier.

The building should have never been named after a segregationist in the first place — even if he did have a distinguished career that saw him rise to the position of committee chairman and president pro tempore. It is fitting for this building to be renamed in John McCain’s honor.

But are Schumer’s motivations fully transparent? It could be argued that there’s more politics in the mix than praise. While Schumer gets to brush an embarrassing legacy of a member of his own party under the rug, he gets to further advance the stature of a very vocal critic of President Donald Trump.

In one of his last acts of maverick moves, McCain’s pivotal “thumbs-down” gesture on the Senate floor during the Obamacare debate saved it from being repealed and relegated to the dustbin of bad legislative ideas. Even McCain’s funeral was considered a political event.

Interestingly, many of those who laud McCain now didn’t like his maverick ways when he ran against Barack Obama for the White House in 2008. Back then, he was called a racist for the things he called his Vietnamese captors. He was criticized for voting against making Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a federal holiday. He was branded Islamophobic in 2013 for referring to former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a “monkey.” He was criticized for voting to confirm Justice Neil Gorsuch, and who knows what would have happened to his legacy among liberals if he lived long enough to support Brett Kavanaugh.

With this in mind, when might people clamoring for a McCain Senate Office Building to be renamed? Bloomberg Opinion recently suggested that “Congress should adopt a retroactive rule requiring that the naming of federal buildings come with a 50-year sunset clause.”

Shouldn’t greatness stand the test of time? If you can’t find greatness, perhaps don’t name the building after anyone at all.

This might be why Schumer didn’t previously suggest the Russell Building be named for the late senator Edward M. Kennedy.

ABOUT THE WRITER

Christopher Arps is a member of the Project 21 black leadership network. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.

The Conversation

Kavanaugh confirmation could spark a reckoning with system that often fails survivors of sexual abuse and assault

October 12, 2018

Author

Alesha Durfee

Associate Professor of Women and Gender Studies, Arizona State University

Disclosure statement

Alesha Durfee receives funding from the National Institute of Justice.The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

Partners

Arizona State University provides funding as a member of The Conversation US.

After voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Sen. Joe Manchin said that he made his choice even though he supported survivors of sexual abuse and believed that “we have to do something as a country” about sexual violence.

“I’m very much concerned… with the sexual abuse that people had to endure,” he said. “But I had to deal with the facts I had in front of me.”

The testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and Kavanaugh’s confirmation despite that testimony, is a prominent example of what happens when abuse survivors engage with systems that were never designed to respond to their words or meet their needs.

Although few survivors testify in front of the Senate, the process by which Ford was forced to tell her story, and the reaction of senators to that story, is strikingly similar to what abuse survivors undergo every day in civil and criminal courts.

I am a scholar of domestic violence, and my work has focused on analyzing the stories survivors share when they seek safety.

I’ve also studied what happens when the legal system processes these stories.

What I’ve found is a fundamental mismatch between what survivors disclose and what legal systems need to hear to take action.

Victims and systems unaligned

Legal institutions ask survivors to explain why they need legal protection, to tell their story of abuse. But, as noted by scholars Shonna Trinch and Susan Berk-Seligson, “What is needed by those whose job is to listen to them is a report, not a story.”

Courts want a report that is linear, providing an almost external accounting of abuse with specific names, dates and “facts.” Survivors expect to be able to share what they have experienced in a way that reflects how they have made sense of the event and its aftermath.

The end result is that we have systems that are supposed to help, but in general are unable to adequately assess and respond to survivors’ stories.

Activists demonstrate as the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from both Ford and Kavanaugh. AP//J. Scott Applewhite

My research shows that survivors who disclose their abuse often hear initial statements of support and belief. Those statements are quickly negated by a “but” and an explanation of why someone will continue to act as if that story had never been told.

How did we end up with this system?

Many scholars, including Kimberlé Crenshaw, argue that institutions, including the legal system, design policies based on stereotypes about survivors that rarely reflect their actual circumstances. That’s especially true with survivors who are not “good victims” or who are not white, middle-class women who have external documentation of physical abuse.

This explains how what appears to be neutral system can produce different outcomes for people based on the intersections of gender, race, sexuality, age, citizenship status and other aspects of social identities.

For example, using victim advocates from a prosecutor’s office or police department to assist survivors filing for protection orders that would keep them safe from their abusers appears to be an effective use of resources.

But many abuse survivors have legal problems themselves or mistrust the legal system. They may not want to report the violence they’ve experienced because they could become the target of immigration enforcement or child protective services.

For many survivors, it’s easier and safer to not report the abuse and pretend that the resulting trauma never happened.

Puzzles in the aftermath

To an outsider, the choice not to report in the moment, or even years later, does not make sense.

They do not understand how survivors compartmentalize in order to survive or even thrive. They do not see that survivors evolve complex ways of coping, such as Ford’s insistence on constructing double front doors at her home so she’d be able to escape through one if the other was blocked.

The legal system’s rules of evidence, evidentiary requirements and statutes of limitations all reflect this.

What I’ve found in my research is that the legal system wants short, brief reports that focus on legally relevant acts of abuse, contain specific information and include supplemental documentation.

Few survivors can craft those types of narratives unassisted.

And many survivors – especially those who are of color, are poor or do not have U.S. citizenship, and who are not heterosexual – do not see institutions like the legal system as a resource.

Those institutions aren’t designed with their goals, needs and motivations in mind. When they witness events like the confirmation hearing, where a woman with education and privilege discloses sexual violence and nothing happens, how can they be expected to entrust their own narratives of abuse to others?

Speaking up

Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that “I’m dejected, but only momentarily, when I can’t get the fifth vote for something I think is very important. But then you go on to the next challenge and you give it your all. You know that these important issues are not going to go away. They are going to come back again and again. There’ll be another time, another day.”

For some survivors, today, in the aftermath of Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony, is finally that day. They are filling out protection order petitions, calling the police, reaching out for help.

But in some cases, they will be denied an order, the abuser will not be sanctioned or they themselves will be mistakenly arrested instead of, or along with, their abuser. In the toughest cases, like that of Melanie Edwards in Washington state, they will be killed by their abusers.

The United States should rethink how to help survivors of violence and how to sanction perpetrators.

Helping or hurting?

In the right environment and with the right support, survivors will want to tell their stories and will be empowered and validated by that retelling.

However, the legal system is an adversarial system with confusing and complex bureaucratic procedures and often untrained staff. As trauma scholar Dr. Judith Herman explains, “If one set out intentionally to design a system for provoking symptoms of traumatic stress, it might look very much like a court of law.”

Survivors are asked to recall specific details about their victimization that they have repressed in order to survive. As one advocate said to me in an interview, “They’re trying to forget what happened and here I am, asking them to write down, with as many details as they can, what they went through.”

How might we create a more responsive system?

First: Stop requiring survivors to narrate their abuse. It’s more detrimental than helpful, especially if we simply discount it as a “story” afterward.

If there is some form of external documentation, survivors should be able to provide that instead. If there is no external documentation, then the narrative should be elicited in a supportive environment of the survivor’s choosing, with trained staff available to help them better understand the kinds of information judges and law enforcement need.

Second: People charged with listening and responding to survivors need to be educated about the dynamics of domestic and sexual violence. While some are, many do not fully understand the ways in which domestic and sexual violence impact survivors. It is impossible for them to hear and respond appropriately unless they understand those dynamics.

The confirmation hearings, and the responses to Ford’s testimony, underscored this idea. While the remarks of some senators after her testimony reflected that they understand that they should “support” and “believe” survivors of violence, they also showed they were not informed about how survivors act in response to and process sexual trauma.

It’s as if they were saying: I believe, but I don’t understand, so your story does not exist for me in that it does not force me to act or impact my vote.

Finally: Explore what believing and supporting a survivor means.

While the words “I believe” and “I support” are critically important, they should not become buzzwords that replace actions. When you believe a survivor and decide to support that survivor, you must act. You must make hard, even unpopular, decisions.

You must work to adapt the system in order to uphold justice.

I believe. Period. I believe.

Comments

Andrea Connor

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University

Thank you for this article and most of all for ending up where you did – with the call to action. I felt very much that during the confirmation hearing – the act of listening to Dr Ford by the senators was posed as an end in itself i.e.: we’ve heard her testimony now let’s vote and move forward. Many people said both sides had spoken and been listened to as if that was enough and that there was some sort of moral/ethical equivalence reached. When in fact Dr. Ford’s testimony itself was a call for action to be taken in the name of justice but also for the sake of the country – a much broader ethical goal. She had her chance to speak now lets move on won’t do at all and is simply an alibi for perpetuating the status quo…hopefully her testimony will not be in vain and will lead to greater action.

Chris Crawford

There’s no question that our legal and judicial system has grossly failed to address the problem of sexual abuse. Certainly the appalling case of Ms. Ford demonstrates just how completely our system has failed.

One mismatch here is the rational requirement for objectively verifiable evidence in dealing with these cases. Our system was developed to deal with simple justice: murder, theft, vandalism, assault, and so on. These crimes are all readily addressed with direct physical evidence, and our use of increasingly sophisticated forensic technology has given us greater confidence in the reliance on physical evidence.

We have gone so far that the absence of physical evidence is now regarded as undermining a case. Over and over on these pages we saw commentators insisting that, in the absence of physical evidence, there was no reason to believe Ms. Ford.

Here we come to one of the subtler manifestations of male dominance of our society: rejection of social intelligence. Our society simply refuses to acknowledge the existence of social intelligence, largely because males are so deficient in it. Anybody with an ounce of social intelligence could easily see that Ms. Ford was telling the truth and Mr. Kavanaugh was lying. Yet few males have that ounce of social intelligence, so they argued that it was an unresolvable “he said, she said” situation.

Until we can integrate social intelligence into our culture, this kind of outrage will continue.

Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121568128-6768edbc8164496fa617a6fedfa7dc9e.jpgCleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Cleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121568128-8461fabbfca348f4b788cdefe0256d8c.jpgCleaning personnel enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Cleaning personnel wait to enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/10/web1_121568128-e2acda3667304f3bb3bd51bedde719a9.jpgCleaning personnel wait to enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an "inspection" of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)
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